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In 1969, the Apollo 11 Astronauts Reunited With Their Families (Sort Of)

Neil Armstrong (blowing a kiss to his sons) is flanked by Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on July 27, 1969 at Ellington Air Force base in Houston, Tex. On July 24, the Apollo 11 astronauts returned from their historic trip to the moon, but due to infection fears, they were quarantined for 21 days. » 7/27/15 6:00pm 7/27/15 6:00pm

When We Discovered Pluto, It Changed How We Saw The Solar System

On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing… » 7/12/15 12:00pm 7/12/15 12:00pm

The Complete History Of Ceres, The Planet (?) Between Mars And Jupiter

Over the last couple of weeks, the Dawn Spacecraft has been beaming back spectacular pictures of Ceres – a world, discovered more than a century before Pluto, about which we know very little. This is the story of its discovery, and humanity's impending visit to one of the last unexplored planetary bodies in the… » 2/23/15 11:00am 2/23/15 11:00am

Vintage Cigarette Boxes Feature Designs From The Soviet Space Program

In earlier decades, when someone reached for a smoke, they might shake out a cigarette from a box featuring the cosmonaut dog Laika, Sputnik, or the Soyuz. These largely Russian cigarette packages are a retro look at a time when even a quick hit of nicotine would remind us of our spacefaring dreams. » 9/29/14 3:01pm 9/29/14 3:01pm

When did we start believing in Martians? Why did we stop?

Today, we have rovers busily studying the surface of Mars, but 100 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for people to believe that intelligent Martians occupied the Red Planet, and 100 years before that, visions of Moon dwellers danced in many people's heads. Where did these ideas of nearby intelligent extraterrestrials come… » 9/08/13 8:30am 9/08/13 8:30am

The Ninteenth Century Madman Who Invented Martians

He was the man who launched a thousand imaginary rocketships to Mars — in the nineteenth century, before anybody knew the word "Martian" and War of the Worlds hadn't been written yet. Percival Lowell, a wealthy Bostonian, spent his youth traveling Japan and Korea before having a nervous breakdown and recovering by… » 4/28/08 4:46pm 4/28/08 4:46pm